Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pilgrim and Roy Invitational Challenge

Once again I have been invited to create a quilt for the Pilgrim/Roy Challenge. Each year a dozen or so national teachers are selected to make a quilt from preselected fabric. We're not required to use all six fabrics, and we may add up to two more. I've added the light green and the off white at the bottom. The quilts will make their debut at this year's AQS show in Paducah, then they will travel for a year. Next year, in Paducah, they will be auctioned off to benefit the Quilt Museum.

After giving it some thought, I designed a posy that's sort of a take on a rose of sharon, only it's overlapping stars instead of ruffled circles. Each posy has ten parts, and there are 31 posies. That's a lot of parts. Using my addressing system, though, made quick work of the getting the templates done, and the seam allowances trimmed.

Glue basting presented a bit of a problem. The way the petals overlapped made it a challenge to conceal raw edges. After some fooling around I realized that I needed to baste over one of the pointed ends, which would provide a finished edge for the next petal.

Instead of making bias stems, which are quick and easy, I decided to create a template to keep all of the curves uniform. Basting such a big, wobbly piece is pretty much no fun at all. To make it a little easier, I only trimmed away just the inside curve, leaving the fabric on the outside curve side to stabilize it. Once the inside curve is glue basted, it will make it easier to trim and glue baste the outside curve side.

After all eleventy million parts are basted, the posies sewn together, it's time to applique the lot to the background. I couldn't decide, dots or no dots. I made a couple of dozen 3/4 inch circles out of the light polka dot fabric. The original design included them. I put some in place and walked around the quilt for a few days. In the end, I thought the dots made it too busy, so off they went into my dot stash.

To make up for the loss of the dots, I filled the background with bubbles.

Lots and lots of bubbles.

The collection is available to borrow for inclusion in other shows. Contact them to schedule a time to add these quilts to your local exhibit.


  1. Love the color palette they chose, and your soft green and cream really make the others pop! Wish I could see the whole quilt, but from what I can see, it is beautiful, as usual!

  2. Phyllis4:34 PM

    A beautiful quilt, and so much fun to see it all come together step by step. Your quilting bubbles are so intricate--how ever did you do them without going blind, LOL??

  3. Wow. Beautiful work. I was part of the challenge this year (1st time) and I also did an applique posey quilt ("Pennsylvania Posies for Paducah"). I think we got great fabrics. Can't wait til they post pics of all the quilts.